As an advocate for the preservation of wild places, I continually struggle to reach a balance between a comfortable and fulfilled lifestyle, and a low impact on our fragile planet.
The young plants that are the subjects of these images have just opened to the world; they are at their most delicate and vulnerable state yet there is great promise and enormous potential. Some will last only a season while others will, with luck, grow for decades and give rise to new generations.
The outsized gold frames symbolize material wealth. Juxtaposed with the delicate vegetation, the gold frames raise the question of what we actually value. As populations around the world continue to grow and the demands we make on the natural world increase, we find ourselves struggling to reach a balance between serving the needs of our species and respecting the needs of so many others. Finding this balance often comes down to a decision about how we define wealth.
Today, most cultures are fixated on the accumulation of wealth and the never-ending acquisition of material goods. We live in artificially controlled environments that separate us from the forces at work in our ecosystem. We are confronted with increasingly compelling evidence of the impending collapse of our fragile planet, yet have become remarkably proficient at convincing ourselves that the next generation will figure it all out.
I hope these images will encourage us all to think about how we define wealth and where the natural world that sustains us fits into that definition.
As a child, Mark Thayer spent his summer vacations exploring the streams, swamps and estuaries in the environs north of Boston. Fascinated by the reawakening of the marshes each spring, he waited with great anticipation for the inhabitants to return from their hibernations and migrations.
Inspired by a high school classmate and encouraged by the gift of a camera from his father, he returned to the wetlands rekindling his love of unspoiled places as seen through the viewfinder.
Following this new-found path, Thayer enrolled in New England School of Photography with a concentration in advertising. While there he discovered a wholly unexpected and magical world within the fine art community.
His commercial career opened opportunities for collaborations with talented artists from many disciplines and further deepened his passion for self-expression.
After decades of keeping his non-commercial photography from the public eye, he began showing that work in 2013 and now has a growing number of gallery and corporate appearances.
Thayer lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts with his wife Andi, he is an avid mountain biker and cross-country skier, and enjoys a fine IPA.
Contact Mark Thayer